Whole Wheat Honey Bread is a healthy, nutty tasting bread, perfect for toasting. I grew up eating this bread via Norma Jean’s Kitchen, the absolute best place to be!
Today’s recipe has me thinking about my childhood home, and all the memories that come with it. You see, my mom was known to start her bread making early in the morning. I think her mission was to wake her children up to the smell of fresh bread. But instead, we were usually woken to the sound of her Bosch mixing away.
The house that my five siblings and I grew up in, was relatively small. It never felt that way growing up, and we never thought twice about having our own bedroom. Each one of us shared a bed with a sibling, and it worked out perfectly because there were four girls and two boys (and three bedrooms for us to share). The kitchen was not far from our bedrooms and if you were in the downstairs bedroom, you were directly under the kitchen (aka Norma Jean’s Kitchen). I do believe that was the noisiest spot to sleep, because you could hear EVERY step and EVERY chair being pushed around. And I swear that my family has rocks in their socks.
Every now and then, I like to start my Bosch first thing in the morning. Because let’s be honest, bread-making is a lengthy process and you might as well get started early. Luckily, Zach is such a sound sleeper that I can have the TV turned up AND be running my mixer. I could probably have my mixer in his room and he wouldn’t hear it. 🙂
Some tips for making epic Whole Wheat Honey Bread.
- When you add the warm water to the yeast, sugar, and salt – be careful to use WARM water, not hot. If the water is too hot, the yeast will disappear and you can’t make bread without yeast. Also, do not use cool water because it won’t activate the yeast.
- Don’t add all the flour at once because every baking day is different. Some days you will need a bit more flour and some days, you will need less.
- The dough shouldn’t be overly sticky when ready. It should bounce back slightly to the touch. Over time, you will learn exactly how much flour is needed to make the ultimate bread.
- When done, the bottom of the bread should be slightly brown and crunchy, and the top, a nice golden brown.
- Be sure to brush some butter on the top of the loafs of bread to get a nice shine.
The first photo below is what the bread looks like when it is ready to pull out of the mixer. Do you see the way it has pulled away from the sides of my Bosch? That means there is enough flour. The picture on the right is what the bread looks like after it has risen. In this case, it took about an hour to rise, but each baking day is different.
Whole Wheat Honey Bread is an adaptation of Mom’s Cracked Wheat Bread. Every once in a while she’d leave the cracked wheat out and replace with extra whole wheat flour. I did that and also replaced the quick oats with flaxseed meal. I’m also making mini loafs. You can buy the mini disposable pans in any grocery store and I like to use them occasionally, especially if I’m trying to decrease my bread consumption. These freeze great, so taking one mini loaf out at a time is a good way to have fresh bread anytime you want it, without wasting any, and without eating too much. 🙂
Make this bread recipe next: Chewy French Bread
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- 2 Tablespoons yeast I use Red Star
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups warm water not hot, not cold
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup flaxseed meal I use Bob's Red Mill
- 5 cups whole wheat flour
- 4 cups all-purpose flour or to right consistency
- few pats of butter to brush on top after baking
- Prepare the yeast mixture. Combine the yeast, sugar, and the warm water in a large mixer. Be careful to use WARM water, not hot. If the water is too hot, the yeast will disappear and you can't make bread without yeast. Mix and let sit for about 15 minutes to get the yeast working.
- Add the honey, oil, salt, and cold water. Stir with a spatula. Attach dough hook to mixer and add the flaxseed meal and the whole wheat flour. Start the mixer and mix until fully combined.
- Then add approximately 4 more cups (this is not an exact measurement) of all-purpose flour to desired consistency. You want the bread dough to be slightly sticky but not too much. When you touch the dough, it should bounce back slightly. Be sure to leave the mixer on for several minutes after you get the right consistency.
- Grease a large bowl with canola oil. Add dough to the bowl, making sure you smooth it into a ball. Cover the dough with a clean dish towel and set it in a warm corner of your kitchen. Let the dough rise until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough - by pushing down with your fists in the middle of the dough, pulling the outer edges in towards the middle. Re-grease the bowl with oil and place the dough with smooth side up. Let rise until doubled in size again.
- Form dough into 12 mini shapes (for mini loafs) or 4-5 larger loafs. Use same punch down method for each loaf, making sure smooth side is facing up. Let loaves rise again until doubled in size.
- Bake loafs on 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until bottom is browned nicely. Remove from pans to wire racks and brush tops with butter.
- Cool completely before storing in storage/freezer bags. This bread freezes well.